Archive for Sunday, September 19, 1993


September 19, 1993


A homicide reported Saturday evening at the entrance to Riverfront Park was the seventh in Lawrence and Douglas County this year.

Three double-homicides occurred earlier this year, all within the city limits.

On Jan. 10, Young S. Puckett, 32, and her sons, Justin Y. Puckett, 10, and Kris M. Puckett, 6, died in a fire at the family's mobile home at 1900 W. 31st. Authorities determined that Young Puckett set the fatal fire. The boys' deaths were ruled as homicides. Investigators labeled Young Puckett's death as a suicide, which is not legally considered homicide.

Seven days later, LaTonya Farmer, 17, and a friend, Brandy Martin, 13, died in a deliberately set fire at an apartment at 714 W. 25th.

Authorities continue to investigate the fatal blaze. No arrests have been made.

The other killings occurred March 13, when Linda M. Smith, 34, and a companion, John L. Pease, 47, were shot to death in Linda Smith's apartment at 837 Mich.

Linda M. Smith's estranged husband, Victor J. Smith, 35, was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in the slayings. In July, a jury deadlocked on whether to sentence Smith to a "Hard 40" sentence -- a life imprisonment term in which a defendant would not be eligible for parole for 40 years.

Smith is serving two consecutive life imprisonment terms and will not be eligible for parole for 30 years.

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